Venturesome Capital- State Charter School Finance Systems

Charter school funding reflects the remaining

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Unformatted text preview: funding through the Texas financing system. These programs are concentrated in high schools and the many Texas charter high schools with alternative programs should benefit. In 1997-98, the 19 charter schools in Texas averaged 23.4 percent of enrollment in career and technology programs compared to 5 percent statewide. Categorical Aid: Charter schools can apply for all categorical programs with the exception of funds for facilities assistance. A “technology allotment” of $30 per pupil is the only program routinely available to all school districts including charter schools. Transportation: No Texas public school district is required to provide transportation, so charter schools are also exempt. Funding for eligible students is available if transportation is provided. The state also provides additional funding for special education transportation. Wealthy districts get less state funding because transportation is funded on an equalized basis. 178 Appendix Texas State Start-Up Assistance: None provided. Capital Outlay and Facilities Financing: State funding for facilities assistance is not available to charter schools. Recently, the Texas legislature specifically allowed charter schools to issue tax-exempt securities. North Hills Prep became the first charter school in Texas to secure tax-exempt financing. Charter schools directly issue the securities with the help of investment banking firms as in Michigan (see Michigan section of Appendix), rather than through a conduit bonding authority as in Colorado (see Colorado section of this Appendix). Timing of Payments: Funding is delivered in the first month that students are in school. Payment is monthly, although an extra payment is made in September for a total of 13. The attendance counts are adjusted every six weeks. Uniform Financial Reporting: Charter schools have to maintain a financial accounting system that meets the Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) data standards. These standards have been adapted for charter schools. Auditing Practice: An independent audit is required and must include procedures for reviewing the accuracy of the fiscal information provided by charter schools’ PEIMS. Responsibility for Debt: The Texas Education Agency treats charter schools like school districts, so charter holders are responsible for debt. Ownership and Disposition of Assets: If a charter closes, equipment purchased with state or federal funds reverts to the state for distribution. Teacher Retirement: If the charter school itself is the agent of employment, it must participate in the state retirement system. If the school uses a management agency, then it is exempt from the state retirement system. The management agency functions like an employment agency and may choose to offer its own benefits package. In 1998-99, 82 of 87 charter schools participated in the state retirement system. Appendix 179 Venturesome Capital: State Charter School Finance Systems Cost Basic Elementary Charter School Factor Weight FTE WFTE Texas Weighted...
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